Typically, when people think of Lent, they think of giving something up that they either enjoy, or think is a bad habit. Some people quit smoking. Some quit drinking. Some give up nacho cheese Doritos and bacon cheeseburgers. I know this all has to do with the idea of Lent as a period of reflection on Christ’s sacrifice, but somehow, I don’t think going forty days without a single Dorito is a truly spiritual experience.
Many, many years ago (just how many I’m not saying) a very good priest friend of mine had a slightly different idea. Instead of giving something up for Lent, why not focus on adding something positive to your life that would improve your connection to the Divine and to your fellow human beings? Personally, I think that’s a much better idea than suffering through forty days sans nacho cheese chips.
What you do could be anything, really. You could attend religious services of your choice more regularly. You could start a daily meditation and/or prayer practice. You could learn how to use a new tool or oracle card deck. You could read more spirituality-related books and magazines. You could work on improving yourself – trying to be less judgemental or more forgiving. You could start a journal. There are loads of possibilities!
You don’t even have to be Catholic!